Josh Duggar’s legal team filed documents Friday seeking to have the child p0rnography charges against him dismissed, with motions requesting to suppress certain evidence and statements in the case–- including photos of the former 19 Kids and Counting star’s feet and hands–- and an effort to possibly place the blame on a former employee, whom Josh’s lawyers say be have been the person who downloaded the child sex abuse photos and videos to Josh’s computer.
According to The Sun, attorneys for the 33-year-old—who was charged in April with possessing and receiving child p0rnography— want the case dismissed. In one of the filed motions, Josh’s legal team claims the government failed to “preserve potentially exculpatory evidence,” which the legal team believes could exonerate Josh.
Since there’s a lot of new stuff to unpack here, The Ashley is splitting it up to make it more readable.
Josh’s attorneys say other people could have downloaded the offensive material, including a former employee who slept overnight at the car lot & watched adult p0rn.
Court documents obtained by the site claim certain people had access to the wireless Internet at Josh’s now-closed used car lot– the site where authorities confiscated electronics, including Josh’s cell phone, a laptop and a computer. While devices owned by the witnesses was searched, law enforcement allegedly “failed to preserve any evidence obtained during these searches.”
One witness–- first interviewed December 2019–- is described as a “person of interest” as court papers state the witness “admitted to investigators he worked at the car lot at various times and that, on several occasions, he stayed at the car lot overnight without [Josh’s] knowledge or permission.”
The individual, described in the documents as Witness #1, also reportedly admitted to viewing adult p0rnography through his cellphone while at the car lot, though when questioned by federal agents, the witness “denied viewing child p0rnography.” No child sex abuse images or videos was found on this person’s cellphone when it was searched, though.
Documents also mention two other witnesses whose devices were searched, with evidence from the third witness reportedly having gone unpreserved– an action Josh’s team believes to be a reason for his case to be dismissed.
“Where the evidence the Government failed to preserve is potentially exculpatory, dismissal is mandated if the Government acted in bad faith destroying or failing to preserve the potentially exculpatory evidence,” court papers read.
Josh’s team believes the devices “may have contained content as to whether these devices had any relevant internet search history, any evidence associated with the so-called ‘dark web’ and/or the Bit Torrent network, any metadata that might pinpoint the whereabouts of the devices at various dates and times, and the list goes on.”
The former TLC star’s legal team called the move “troubling,” noting that it has “deprived [Josh] of the opportunity to access this potentially exculpatory evidence.”
The Sun reports Josh’s team is asking to dismiss the case and, at a minimum, “have an evidentiary hearing to determine what can be determined based on the searches performed and to explore the possibility of alternative remedies.”
Josh’s lawyers want certain statements made by Josh eliminated from evidence.
Josh’s team also filed a motion Friday to suppress statements made on the day of the car lot raid, referring to those “allegedly made by [Josh] after he asserted his right to counsel and after federal agents physically stopped him from communicating with his attorney,” court documents state.
According to Emily D. Baker, a lawyer and former prosecutor who discusses legal cases on her YouTube channel, based on Josh’s detention hearing– not the defense, as it was not mentioned in the motion– the “main statement” this motion refers to is one made by Josh when his car lot was initially searched, in which he asked law enforcement if they were “looking for [child p0rnography],” prior to being read his Miranda rights.
The motion refers to additional comments made by Josh at the time of the raid, as well.
Josh’s lawyers want certain pieces of evidence thrown out of the case.
Another motion refers to evidence seized from Josh’s car lot in November 2019. According to documents, search warrants were granted based on information that should not have been obtained, therefore the search warrants themselves need to be dismissed out of court.
The motion also claims the torrent software, created and used by law enforcement, has “been the subject of various legal challenges focusing on methodology and general proposition,” therefore this evidence should be thrown out. Emily explained in her YouTube breakdown of the motions that Josh’s team is claiming that because the government “randomly grabs” this information using the software before they have been issued a search warrant, it is a violation of an individual’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Josh’s lawyers want the case against Josh dismissed because some of the people working against Josh in this case were not “properly appointed.”
A motion was also filed to “dismiss indictment for violation of the Appointment Clause”– as in the appointments of the U.S. Constitution. By filing this motion, Josh’s team is attempting to have the case against him dismissed, claiming the acting secretaries of Homeland Security that have been (and currently are) in place during Josh’s investigation were not properly appointed, which qualifies as a constitutional violation.
Based on this claim, Josh’s team believes Josh’s case should be dismissed, as well as every other action taken by the department during that time (2019-present).
Josh’s lawyers want photos taken of Josh’s hands and feet after he was booked into jail in April to be thrown out of the case.
The most peculiar of the five motions filed by Josh’s legal team is one requesting to suppress photos of Josh’s hands and feet taken in April when he was booked into jail after turning himself in.
Emily explained in her YouTube video that if these type of photos are taken during booking, it is usually done to show proof that there was no struggle during arrest (no handcuff marks, etc.).
However, Josh’s team claims there was no warrant authorizing the photos to be taken. In the footnote of the filing, it states that Josh’s legal team “is in no way even suggesting that these photographs have any actual evidentiary value to the Government.”
Josh’s trial was scheduled to begin last month; however, it was previously delayed at the request of the defense and is now set to begin November 30.
Because he is not allowed to reside in a home with minor children, Josh has been living with his court-appointed guardians, LaCount and Maria Reber, as he awaits trial. He has also been ordered by the court to stay away from all minor children, except his own, whom he may visit with as long as his wife Anna Duggar is present during the visit.
As The Ashley told you earlier this month, Anna– currently pregnant with the couple’s seventh child– is reportedly staying with Josh at the Reber’s home and allowing her and Josh’s families to watch the couple’s six other children.
(Photos: TLC; Instagram; YouTube)